David Price blasts MLB for failing to market Red Sox star Mookie Betts

·Yahoo Sports Contributor
Red Sox pitcher David Price says Mookie Betts could be the face of MLB if league marketed him better.  (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)
Red Sox pitcher David Price says Mookie Betts could be the face of MLB if league marketed him better. (AP Photo/Bill Sikes)

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price thinks teammate Mookie Betts could be the face of Major League Baseball if the league put any effort into marketing him.

Speaking to Masslive before Friday’s game in Arizona, Price said the league has dropped the ball in regards to how Betts and other African American MLB stars are being promoted.

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Price specifically pointed out how Betts isn’t featured in any of MLB’s commercials despite winning the 2018 American League MVP and helping lead Boston to a World Series championship.

“OK, that’s a joke,” Price said Friday. “I saw the Brewers first baseman [Jesús Aguilar] has a commercial on MLB Network. Great player. Great player. I love watching him play. I’ve heard nothing but great things about him from Travis Shaw and all those guys. But he’s not Mookie Betts. We’re trying to grow this game in the African American community. Put that guy [Betts] on commercials. That’s how this game grows. MLB is probably the worst at marketing their players. They need to do a better job of that. We’ve talked about that to the union and [MLB commissioner] Mr. [Rob] Manfred many times."

Marketing critiques aren't new to MLB.

The league has been called out for years over its inability to effectively promote all of its stars, regardless of race. Some progress has seemingly been made over the last year or so with the league's "Let the Kids Play" campaign.

But Price clearly feels steps need to be taken to make the marketing more diverse.

“Market the African American stars in baseball better,” Price said. “And the other players. Everybody. Market us better. Mookie Betts doesn’t have a single commercial. He’s one of the most marketable people in all of baseball. He plays for the Red Sox and he’s African American. Zero commercials. A very likable person. He could be the face of baseball. And zero commercials. He just won MVP. MLB just needs to step up."

Some might say Price is looking for headlines. But the truth is he’s making a valid point in regards to Betts. The Red Sox right fielder has proven himself to be in an elite tier alongside superstars like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be marketed in the same fashion.

As USA Today reported, while the African American population on MLB opening day rosters in 2019 increased to 7.8%, that number is still far too small.

It’s an issue the league definitely needs to address. As Price suggests, that should start by promoting every star in the game.

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